Exercise as been referred to as the fountain of youth. Unfortunately, many commercial truck drivers don’t take the time to exercise. If truck drivers exercised regularly, their health would drastically improve. Commercial truck drivers suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, bone and muscle degeneration and other health conditions. Truck drivers spend the major part of each day sitting behind the wheel of their trucks and often neglect their health. Regular exercise can improve truck driver’s health and help to prevent the occurrence of serious illnesses and diseases. It is advisable to keep some portable exercise equipment in the truck for convenient workouts.
Truck drivers should take the time to exercise each day. This would improve both their physical and mental health. Drivers who have not exercised at all in years should check with their physician prior to beginning any exercise program. Exercising a minimum of 30 minutes each day should be the goal of most truck drivers. However, if you are new to exercising start off with five minutes of exercise each day and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise each day.
Truck drivers should do some type of aerobic exercise each day. Aerobic exercise is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as “any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” Aerobic exercise causes one to breathe faster and deeper which increases blood flow to the lungs and muscles. This increases the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles and allows waste products such as carbon dioxide to be carried away. This helps to keep your arteries clear and improves your cholesterol levels. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart which improves blood flow to all parts of the body.
Other benefits of aerobic exercise include increased stamina. Although you might be tired after a workout you are strengthening your entire body and in time you will experience less fatigue. Benefits also include increased resistance to colds and infections. Aerobic exercise can improve both physical and mental health and your mood. Aerobic exercise can help you live longer and be healthier as you age. A study conducted by researchers from the Department of Cardiology in New Orleans and published in the American Journal of Medicine indicates that doing as little as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week can reduce the risk of early heart-disease death by 60 percent.
Aerobic exercises that truck drivers can do include fitness walking, bicycling, running and bouncing on a rebounder. Some truckstops have walking trails or indoor workout facilities however, many do not. Drivers can start doing some aerobic exercise by walking around the truckstop or their delivery location. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed and distance as you get stronger. Eventually you may be able to walk very fast which is considered fitness walking and eventually be able to run.
Keep a portable bicycle in the truck and you can ride the bike around the truckstop. If you’re parked close to a residential area drive around the town or city if you can do so safely. Some drivers may not be familiar with rebounders, but these are mini trampolines. You can bounce and jump on rebounders and get a very good aerobic workout without injury to your legs or ankles because rebounders absorb 7/8 of the impact. You can buy a folding rebounder which can easily fit in a truck and pull it out whenever you want to use it. This provides an excellent aerobic and cellular workout which exercises all cells of your body.
Resistance bands are great for toning muscles. They are lightweight and compact and provide exercises for the entire body. They can be used to target specific muscles or muscle groups. The moves can be adjusted by adjusting your hand or the position of your body to get the most tension out of each move. If the move is too easy for you switch to a heavier band. Resistance bands allow for a variety of exercises because they can be used to create resistance in all directions.
Stretching is important to any exercise program. Stretching lengthens muscles and improves the flexibility and elasticity of the muscles. This helps to prevent injuries and accidents. It is important to do some stretching exercises both before and after any exercise program. Stretching before exercising warms the body making it less likely to be injured during exercising. Stretching following exercising cools down the body and relieves muscle tension. Stretching exercises also are relaxing and can provide much needed stress relieve for truck drivers. It is important to breathe normally and avoid holding your breath during stretching exercises. When doing stretching exercises you should feel a mild tension during a stretch, but never any pain or discomfort.
Exercise is a key component in any weight loss program. Drivers desiring to lose weight will need choose a healthy diet. This involves eliminating the consumption of fat laden, unhealthy foods. Choose healthy food options instead such as increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables that you consume. If you’re trying to lose weight keep in mind that you will inevitably hit a weight loss plateau. Don’t let this discourage you from your goal. Stay committed to exercising and you can succeed.